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Hiring the right talent: Best practices to boost your team

Finding the right staff for your organization is a problem that companies have faced as long as there have been companies. Choosing the wrong person for your team can be expensive on just about every level. Not only does it cost you money in salary and hours, it can cost you in productivity, efficiency, and worst of all, in company morale.

Choosing the right employee, however, pays amazing dividends. It fosters a positive environment in the workplace, creates great relationships, results in vastly increased efficiency and performance, and has a positive overall impact on the company. In this article, we’ll explore a number of best practices employers should use to both find and hire the best possible talent, and the role human resources can play in your efforts.

Hiring Best Practices: Have a Plan

Hiring outstanding talent for your organization need not be as difficult as it seems. The biggest problem that most companies have is not approaching their hiring practices with the right plan of action in place. Organization is key in all things, and this includes your hiring best practices. If you don’t have a plan in place, you won’t find the right talent.

Don’t Cut Corners

We’ve all seen the “one size fits all” solutions out there that are supposed to simplify your hiring process, but how effective are they? Certainly, keyword scanning software that weeds out undesirable resumes has its place, and can be a huge time saver. However, the question remains: How many potentially great employees are you missing out on because their resume is missing a properly-phrased keyword, even though their skills and experience are perfect?

Nobody is saying you shouldn’t use applicant tracking software—quite the opposite, actually. However, you need to make sure that you don’t cut corners so that your software works for you, rather than against you when it comes to finding just the right pool of applicants.

Define and Describe Your Job

Conduct a job analysis to gather and collate all the information you need regarding the job responsibilities, duties, skills, experience, work environment, desired outcomes and other aspects of the job in question. This analysis is absolutely essential to creating the right job description.

Without a good job description, your pool of applicants could be all over the place. This not only results in a more difficult time finding the right employee as you weed through hundreds of non-optimal applicants, but it makes it more difficult to plan a marketing and recruitment strategy. If you do use keyword-searching software, it’s even more essential to have a strong job description to ensure that all the right resumes are making it through.

Create the Right Strategy

Once you have an ideal job description drafted, you’ll need to sit down with your hiring team to create a plan of action for screening your applicants. This plan starts with your hiring manager and human resources recruiter, who are crucial to the entire operation. You’ll discuss your need for the new hire, lay out the job specifications and description you’ve drafted, and perfect them.

You may want to consider talking to coworkers who have been successful in their positions, other interested managers, and even customers who take advantage of the position’s services. All of these people can deliver vital insights on what it takes to be successful not only in the position, but in the company.

The Marketing Strategy

Once you have prioritized the important aspects of the job, work out your marketing strategy. Where will you advertise the position to gather the most extensive—and appropriate—applicant pool? Social media, job-posting boards, job seeker services online, even print ads can all be valid ways of finding an employee, but you’ll want to target those which are most appropriate to your company and the services you provide.

Establish the Interview Process

You’ll need to have the right team in place to conduct interviews. Before you even start collecting resumes, know who will be involved in the interviews, and what their specific interests in the new hire might be: technology, company culture, customer service, skills and experience, and so on. Work out specific questions and topics that for each person.

The Process of Recruitment and Selection

Once you have your marketing and plan of action in place, the process of recruitment and selection takes place. Every company has its own process for recruiting and selecting the best candidates, but there are a few common steps that almost every company follows.

Application and Resume

The first step in recruitment and selection involves the application form. This is where you gather information about your applicant pool. It can be submitting a resume online. It can be filling out a web or paper form. It can take many forms, but in general, it’s where you ask the applicant to provide contact information, skills, education, job history and experience that will be relevant to the job.

Preliminary Screening Interview

Following the application, you will bring the best candidates in for the first, preliminary or screening interview (sometimes by phone). These interviews should be brief. You’re looking for the basics—core competencies, the right experience and knowledge. Your goal is to weed out any unsuitable candidates. Your applicant tracking software should ideally do a large chunk of the work for you in this area, but you never know who looks good on paper but doesn’t pan out in person.

Skills Testing

Skills testing comes next. Not all employers use this means of checking potential applicants but it can be incredibly useful. You’re looking to measure specific benchmarks of ability and skill among your applicants. The goal of the skills testing is to match the capabilities of the applicants—not just their practical skills, but their mental capabilities, temperament and personality—with the job in question. Such testing can take any number of forms and is heavily dependent on the job at hand. They should, however, never be conducted on the fly. Have a detailed plan in place as to which skills you’re testing, why and how.

Formal Interviews

Now comes the formal interview process. This can take as many rounds as you like, but it’s rare for there to be more than three rounds; otherwise, there is a risk of wearing out both the applicant and your interview team.

At this stage, you’ve gathered all the objective information you need from the process, and you’re establishing how the applicant performs in interpersonal situations. Your main goal is to confirm the data you’ve gathered thus far, and to get a feel for how well the new applicant will fit with your company culture.

Orientation

Your hiring process does not end with the actual hiring; orientation into your company is just as much a part of the process as the search. Once you’ve decided upon an ideal applicant, tendered a job offer and on-boarded the applicant, start the education process about all aspects of your company culture, your policies, your benefits and your expectations. In turn, let the new hire know what you expect as an employer.

Employment is a two-way street and the best management teams understand this. Spending a little extra time during orientation can save you a lot of hassle down the road, and create mutually beneficial relationships that can last for years.

If you do not have an employee handbook, you would be well-advised to create one and go over all the salient points during orientation. Keep it interesting and fresh; mix up your approach to different aspects of education and be open to questions.

Focused Human Resources and Leadership Services

Building an ideal and effective hiring process can be complex and confusing even for the best, most efficient companies. Many reach out to specialized HR firms for help in this area. Bringing in HR consultants doesn’t cheapen or harm your existing HR department; rather, it can serve to educate your managers on the best procedures, practices and strategies so that you can do even better in the future.

HR and hiring go hand in hand, and when it comes to establishing your HR and hiring strategies, an outsourced consulting firm can be the best decision you make. At Rehmann, we have years of experience in helping businesses of all sizes—small startups, medium-sized firms and large corporations—in establishing the best possible leadership and management strategies.

Call us for more information, and let us help you take your human resources potential and hiring best practices for recruitment and selection to the next level today.

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